Most of the people in our society would like to have more money, even the ones that have much more than they need. Even Christians are continually seeking more, and seminars on making money are well attended by Christians. In the midst of this push for material things there are some Christians who are content to live with what they have, be thankful for it, and concentrate on knowing the Lord, and knowing what he desires for them. They have found the true riches.
A large proportion of the churches in North America have adopted the law of tithing, making it one of the most important laws, even though they say we are not under the law. Tithing is giving ten percent of your increase to the Lord, usually interpreted by Christians as giving ten percent of your income to the church or charities. Church leaders have found that preaching the law of tithing is a good way to ensure that they have enough money for all that they want to do. Some of them have built huge beautiful churches enabled by tithing parishioners. I have even heard threats from the pulpit, warning people of God’s judgment if they don’t tithe. However, most of the preaching about tithing is more encouraging, and promises are made of wealth and abundance if people will tithe. The most common scripture used is from the book of Malachi. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10. Many Christians believe they will become rich if they tithe, claiming this promise. They expect coins to fall down from the windows of heaven. I have found that the blessings that come from heaven are spiritual blessings, not money.
My wife and I have tithed for many years, but we never became millionaires. We are middle-class Canadians. However, we have a nice average size house, reliable vehicles, all we need in the way of food and clothing, and a big vacation every five years or so. The blessings from heaven have been spiritual, as both of our children became Christians, and as young adults they are both serving the Lord in their church. I believe we have found the true riches.
The Lord did not promise us material riches in this life. If you have them be thankful and use them to serve the Lord. The Lord did not even promise us protection from theft, fire or flood. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” Matthew 6:19-20. Even if you tithe, you could be the victim of theft or ruin from moth or rust. I believe this applies to flood, fire, wind and accident as well. We have suffered from theft and flood in the past. Fortunately, we had insurance. For this mortal life, we are told that the Lord will look after us and provide what we need. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” I Timothy 6:7-8.
I heard a preacher say that Jesus talked more about money than any other subject. I don’t see it that way. I believe he talked more about the Kingdom than any other subject, and many times when he mentioned money, his subject was really the Kingdom. The promise to both rich and poor Christians is that we will receive an inheritance in the Kingdom of God. I do not understand what the riches of the Kingdom will be. As I see it, in our resurrection bodies we will not need houses to protect us from heat or cold because even extreme heat or cold will not bother us. We will not need transportation. We will be able to vanish from one location and appear at another, like Jesus did. We will not need clothing. We will be clothed in glistening white raiment at all times, like Jesus was at the transfiguration. We will not need any material things. The riches of the Kingdom will probably be of a form different than what we value in this mortal life.